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Everything posted by moondog

  1. Thanks for the comments. The sketch is done with a series of watercolour washes on a faint pencil outline. MD
  2. Not managed to post any images or sketches for a while so here's one. Image of main crater, top left, Theophilus, Madler to the right and below craters Cyrillus F, Beaumont and the flooded crater Fracastorius. The small crater in the Mare Nectaris is Rosse. North to the top. UT 2030 15.08.2010. New Zealand. MD
  3. Great set of images Nick - just shows what a difference a day makes. The last one is very dynamic with the sun just catching the central peaks in a couple of small craters. MD
  4. I've just upgraded mine using a 12v 17 amp battery. No problem. The handset should only draw the current it needs - i.e. 100ma. MD
  5. Excellent capture Paul - nice tight stars. MD
  6. That's an excellent Cent A Sam.You got much more detail than the one I did a month ago. Well done. The skies down here have been great for quite a while now haven't they? The darker nights certainly help. MD
  7. A real improvement on the previous post Steve. Good colour and detail. Well done John
  8. Thanks for the comments - glad to be able to supply images from 'down under'! Just noticed I said the ED80 was @ F4.8 - it should have been at the standard F7.5. John
  9. Wide field Centaurus A from New Zealand Just over 1 hour of data in 120, 180 and 240 secs subs. ED80 @ F4.8 Atik 16 HRC. Centaurus A is Mag 7.0 and 18' wide. It's also an incredible 15 million light years away. John
  10. Still trying to set up the astro equipment in New Zealand, but here's one from last night of Eta Carinae. ED80 @ F4.8, Atik 16HRC, 5 x 240 secs, 10 x 180secs. EC is very large - 120' overall and bright at Mag 1.0. In comparision the Orion Nebula is 85' x 60' and Mag 3.7 John
  11. Olly - the little WO certainly tries it's best to keep up with the big boys, doesn't it? I want to try OC with the C8 @ F6.3 and the DSLR and see if I can improve on the ZS66 image. It's half the arcsec/pix so I should get better resolution - and more stars! John
  12. Thanks for the comments guys. OC is certainly a whopper - slightly larger than the full moon visually. As it's rotating pretty quickly the shape is slightly out-of-round. You can also see the stars to the core - unlike the second largest glob in the sky 47 Tucanae. This isn't well placed for me at the moment but I'll give it a go when it is. John
  13. Just getting my gear set up in New Zealand. First guiding session with 7 x 120 secs subs Atik 16HRC WO ZS66 F5.9. John
  14. Hi Sam Didn't realise you'd got back to NZ. Great report. I've been here since before Christmas. I'm resident in NZ now. Brought all my astro gear over with me. Done quite a few tours of the Southern skies looking at the same objects as in your report. Roll on the longer, darker nights eh! MD
  15. Hi Alexxx I have the HEQ5. I made sure the polar scope reticule was aligned first but I didn't bother to set up the date scales. Instead, like a lot of people, I used the Polar Finder software to find out the position of Polaris on the reticule circle. This worked each time. It could be that your date scales have moved. Download Polar Finder software - it's free - and I bet you'll find the scales have moved. I assume you've got everything else correct - date format, mount levelled, axis lock screws tight, power to scope OK (no blinking red power light), etc? Good luck. MD
  16. Like Carol I can see the Milky Way all the time here in New Zealand. At the moment it's the height of summer so 25 C days and 17 C nights - but still the MW's visible. During the shorter, moonless nights, the MW really shines. When I was in the UK I couldn't see the MW from my site. I could just see it when I took a short drive to a darker site though. If you could get a lift one clear night out Saddleworth Moors, which is not too far away, you'd see the MW! MD
  17. My astro stuff arrived in New Zealand from the UK a few weeks ago. Since then I've been learning the Southern sky and trying to work out polar alignment without Polaris. Last night I managed to get a reasonable alignment. Long enough to be able to image the Eta Carinae Nebula. Could only manage short subs with the current alignment but here's my first NZ image with my gear:- ED80 with Celestron F6.3 reducer (Eta is BIG!). 19 subs x 30secs @ 800 ISO. Darks, Bias but no flats. Can't wait to get a more permanent set up and take full advantage of the great skies here. MD
  18. ncjunk The brightness is difficult to judge. M42 is minute compared with the MC's. Perhaps M42 may be twice as bright? callump Yes - you spotted the deliberate typo! MD
  19. If you click on the orange text link in my signature below I've put a larger version in the NZ album. Thanks for looking MD
  20. Thought you'd like to see these southern wonders.It's the best I can do until my gear arrives in New Zealand from the UK. Canon 350D on fixed photo tripod. 20 subs, 20secs @1600 ISO. 18mm lens @ F5.6. Darks, Bias and Flats. Image taken looking almost due South. The bright, star like object next to the SMC is the globular 47 Tucanae. The bright star to the left (East) of the LMC is Canopus and at the top right, Achernar. Taken in Nelson New Zealand with some LP from the city lower down to the North. Can't wait to have a go with my gear when it arrives. MD
  21. Athlon Thanks for the useful comments. An Inclinometer would be a good idea. Just arrived in NZ yesterday - and it was a pretty clear night. Too jet lagged to even consider going out and doing a bit of eye balling the sky. It looks promising though! MD
  22. All my astro gear is now packed waiting shipping to New Zealand, where I'll be spending my retirement. The gear won't arrive until early November - that's if it doesn't get pirated on the container ship! After years of easy Polar Aligning in the Northern Hemisphere, I've got to start again in the Southern. Not as easy. No Polaris and no bright stars to aid ploar alignment. The HEQ5 has the southern Octans asterism marked on the polar scope. Might be able to use that but only from a darkish site as Octans is only mag 5. For a permanent set up it looks like drift alignment will be the best bet. For a portable, quick set up, it looks like a compass with magnetic deviation and mount set to the latitude. Since the HEQ5 is 'go-to' I might try the technique of going to a known star in the east followed by one on the meridian. 5 or 6 repeats of this process, each time adjusting the mount, should get reasonable polar alignment. Either way I should be in for an interesting time! MD
  23. Here's the link to the NZ dealer's website. NZ Telescopes Online Shop :: Dobsonian :: Skywatcer 250mm Flextube GOTO MD
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